Why the Midget White Turkey is the Perfect Homestead Turkey

Breeder Bernard Wentworth, who holds doctorates in poultry science and avian physiology, shares his thoughts on these special, great-tasting, little turkeys.

  • tom turkey displaying
    In 1971 only six specimens of the midget white turkey were alive. In 2008, they’ve won a taste test and have a reputation as an excellent homestead turkey.

  • tom turkey displaying

The white midget turkey is rapidly developing a reputation as an amiable, small-flock turkey. Bernard Wentworth, who holds doctorates in poultry science and avian physiology, is credited as saving the breed from extinction. We wondered what was so special about the breed, so we asked Wentworth a few questions.

What made midget white turkeys so memorable from your early work with them?

It is a very attractive bird. Can you imagine a senior citizen couple sharing Thanksgiving alone and still having a beautiful roasted 10-pound turkey at their table?
In your experience, is there a flavor difference between midget whites and other breeds?  

The midget white turkey develops very slowly (not economical). Consequently they would likely be older than the commercial turkey when consumed. Therefore it is likely the flavor would be more apparent.

Can you tell us more about if/how the temperament of midget whites differs from other breeds?

I do not know why this is true, but the midget white turkey is friendly, tame and likes people a great deal. Several people have had them as a pet trio (one male and two females) and they are enjoyed by the entire family. They can be a watchdog and a playmate around children. 

Paula Griffin
3/28/2013 2:32:59 PM

I have midget whites they are smaller than slates and a little bigger than royal palm, I only have female to compare . They lay eggs in the chicken nests. They do look big especially the males who are full of hot air most of the time. I got mine from a hatchery [meyers] many hatcheries have them. They are very sweet birds, have no problem with them piling up. I fed them boiled egg and starter dropped in box to start them eating and put shiny glass stones in the water. They instinctively peck at things that move on ground.

Wayne Gaudin
2/26/2013 10:54:27 PM

Hi, The MW may appear in size somewhat the same as a larger breed turkey, just pick it up and you can tell they are for sure not as heavy and dress one out and you will see their size is almost like a capon very large chicken, you were mislead and you were sold something other than a Midget White Turkey / I had both and I know, Thanks

9/23/2011 11:25:45 PM

I was disappointed that my so called midget whites grew as large as a regular turkey. I want to purchase poults from someone who has true midget whites. Does anyone know of anyone?

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters